Recently, a research team led by Prof. LI Yue in Institute of Solid State Physics, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, has present a facile and effective approach for fabricating high-quality Au@ZnO structured NP array films through the air/water interfacial self-assembly for photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation.
The exploitation of substitutable energy sources is vital and emergent with the rapid consumption of fossil fuels and the interrelated environmental pollution of combustion. Hydrogen, as a clean energy, has drawn intense interest due to its high energy density.
In the joint work, researchers demonstrate the successful synthesis of high-quality Au@ZnO structured NP array films with an enhanced and tunable plasmonic absorption through the air/water interfacial self-assembly method for the first time. The effect of shell thickness and layer number toward PEC performance was investigated. They found that such materials have remarkable visible light absorption capacity and fascinating performance in photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting with a photocurrent density of ∼3.08 mA/cm2 at 0.4 V, which is superior to most ZnO-based photoelectrodes in studies. Additionally, the interesting PEC performance could be effectively adjusted by altering the thickness of the ZnO shell and/or the layer number of the array films. Results indicated that the bilayer film based on Au@ZnO NPs with 25 nm shell thickness displayed optimal behavior.
In summary, the present work provides provides a new approach for fabricating optoelectronic anode thin film devices through a self-assembly method.
The findings were published online in ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces entitled ¡°Rapid and Efficient Self-Assembly of Au@ZnO Core−Shell Nanoparticle Arrays with an Enhanced and Tunable Plasmonic Absorption for Photoelectrochemical Hydrogen Generation¡±.
This investigation was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51371165, 51571189), Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. 1508085JGD07), Cross-disciplinary Collaborative Teams Program in CAS, the CAS/SAFEA International Partnership Program for Creative Research Teams.
Figure 1. (a) Low-magnification, (b) high-magnification TEM images, (c) SEM image and (d) HRTEM image of Au@ZnO Core−Shell Nanoparticle (Image by SUN Yiqiang)
Figure 2. FESEM images of the Au@ZnO structured NP arrays using Au@ZnO NPs with different shell thicknesses: (a) 5 nm, (b) 15 nm, (c) 25 nm, (d) 35 nm (Image by SUN Yiqiang)
Figure 3. (a) Amperometric current−time (I−t) curves of the Au@ZnO structured NP arrays with the 25 nm shell thickness, the pristine ZnO arrays, and the octahedral Au NP array photoelectrode under AM 1.5 G 1 solar illumination. (b) Photocurrent versus voltage with the same conditions for the Au@ZnO NP arrays, the pure ZnO arrays, bare ITO, and the octahedral Au NP array photoanodes. (Image by SUN Yiqiang)
Institute of Solid State Physics, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, CAS